MSN 'Rock Star: INXS' Web Site Attracts Growing Fan Base

Visitors Trigger Surge in Song Purchases, Streaming Video, Blog Views and

Other Exclusive Content from CBS Reality TV Show

Aug 23, 2005, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Fans of Mark Burnett
 Productions' "Rock Star: INXS" have made the new reality television show's
 official Web site on MSN a go-to destination, with significant growth in
 visitors' activities throughout the interactive site at . To date, MSN(R) Video has streamed 7.1 million clips
 of the rockers competing for the chance to become the new lead singer of INXS.
     (Photo:  NewsCom: )
     Every remaining contestant on Rock Star: INXS has appeared in the top 100
 most downloaded tracks on MSN Music, and the contestant performances, along
 with unaired and behind the scenes footage from the show, are some of the top
 streamed videos on MSN Video.
     The number of people voting for their favorite contestants through is growing rapidly. Voting on MSN continued its consistent
 week-over-week growth as the show completed its sixth week. In addition, fans
 are flocking to MSN Spaces, where each rocker has a personal Web log (blog),
 to get the latest updates from the contestants themselves. Visits to the
 contestants' Spaces have more than doubled since the show's premiere, which
 may be because the rockers aren't keeping very many secrets when it comes to
 talking about their lives inside the mansion.
     Beginning this week, fans who visit will also have
 the chance to vote on the songs they'd like the contestants to sing on an
 upcoming encore performance show. People are wasting no time making their
 opinions known, casting hundreds of thousands of votes in the first 24 hours.
     "This surge of activity on attests to the outstanding
 talent of these performers as well as how much enjoyment fans have gained from
 interacting with contestants and each other through the Web site," said
 Mike Conte, general manager of MSN Marketplaces and Digital Media. "Our goal
 is to help people find what they love, so we're thrilled to be involved in
 exposing the great music and amazing people from 'Rock Star: INXS' to an even
 broader worldwide audience."
     "It was just a few years ago that the only feedback producers would get
 would be from critics and ratings," said Mark Burnett. "Now, thanks to the
 Internet and specifically our relationship with MSN, very detailed feedback
 comes across through voting, message boards and blogs, and from the large
 number of video clips watched and songs downloaded. The music downloads
 specifically are an incredibly valuable measure of customer feedback, as there
 is nothing more reliable than when people vote with their pocketbooks."
     "Rock Star: INXS," airing on the CBS Television Network and VH1, debuted
 in July with a cast of 15 rockers competing to become the new lead singer for
 multiplatinum band INXS. Votes cast online by visitors to help determine which contestant gets dropped from the
 show each week. This is the first time that Mark Burnett Productions, the
 company behind such landmark reality TV series as "Survivor" and "The
 Apprentice," has used online voting to influence the outcome of a show on a
 weekly basis.
     The Web site also gives fans unique opportunities to chat, play games and
 view show-themed content in real time through MSN Messenger, watch exclusive
 "Rock Star: INXS" content on MSN Video, purchase contestant performances on
 MSN Music, buy INXS merchandise through MSN Shopping, learn about the
 contestants' personal lives through their MSN Spaces, and more.
     About MSN
     MSN attracts more than 420 million unique users worldwide per month. With
 localized versions available globally in 41 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a
 world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising
 opportunities to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online
 service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make
 the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at . MSN worldwide sites are located at .
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
 full potential.
     NOTE:  Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of
 Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.